Cатсн²² (in)sесuяitу / ChrisJohnRiley

Because we're damned if we do, and we're damned if we don't!

Tag Archives: paypal

Hackers for Charity vs. PayPal

As some of you might already know Johnny Long’s Hackers for Charity organisation had some issue recently with PayPal putting a hold on their account. The reasons behind this were some outstanding paperwork issues. Although I undersand PayPal’s policy and process behind them locking that account, I personally found their actions to be particularly drastic considering the purpose behind this account. Johnny Long explains this in his blog the process and reasons for the account being blocked, and the process he had to go through to get this sorted.

For my part, I had a short conversation with the PayPal UK press firm regarding the locking of the account. Although the information given was minimal I did receive an official statement today from the PR firm regarding the issues.

A PayPal spokesperson said:

“At PayPal, we take security very seriously and have dedicated significant resources to protect the safety and financial information of our customers. Johnny Long’s nonprofit website, hackersforcharity.com, was temporarily put on hold while we reviewed documentation that verified the charity status of his organization.

After thorough review, PayPal has lifted the account hold and has ensured Johnny has full access to the funds in his account. We encourage our customers to raise donations for worthy causes, such as Johnny’s, and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused him or his family.”

Although I applaud PayPal for sorting the issue and getting Johnny back in business, it did take a lot of work from a lot of people to get to this point. The community that supports Johnny Long’s activites spent a great deal of effort getting the word out through social media, news groups, mailing lists and any other method possible. The calls, emails and complaints must have come flooding into PayPal from across the globe, as the community were made aware of the situation. Johnn makes reference to the “Twitterstorm” prompting PayPal to contact him in regards to the issue. Here’s hoping that the power of public opinion keeps the right people from having these sort of issues in the future.

The question remains what would PayPal have done without the threat of media response. Having dealt with PayPal before, I’m pretty sure that Johnny would still be waiting on a reply. That said, even Johnny admits that the process PayPal have to go through is not one to be envied. Mistakes were made on both sides. Personally I’d like to thank the community as a whole for getting behind this great project, and I encourage you to visit http://www.hackersforcharity.org/ to further support this worthy cause.

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PayPal buyer non-protection

As some people might already know, I’ve been going through a payment dispute on PayPal for about 6 weeks now. To bring things into a short and crisp explanation, I purchased what was advertised as a book on Ebay. The seller was in America and I waited for the shipment. A couple of days passed and I received an email from Ebay saying that the seller had been banned and not to pay him. Well, a little late on that one. Still I waited in the hope of getting my book. A few days later I got a package form the US. What was inside this small package, a burned white-top CD containing an ebook. To make matters worse it wasn’t even the right ebook. So I email the seller in the hope of getting a response. Laughingly I did, although he suggested a good solution would be for me to download the right ebook from a torrent site. No I kid you not, he actually though that was a solution.

thumb_paypalSo off to PayPal and their dispute section. I filed the dispute and 2 weeks later was told if I mailed the CD back at my own cost I’d get a full refund. Right, I’m going to risk getting caught sending illegal goods out of the country and through US customs because PayPal say so.

Needless to say, I said no chance and PayPal closed the case without a second thought. I reopened the case and asked them to think a little clearer about the issues, and asked if PayPal condoned the selling and shipping of illegal materials. I waited like a good little customer for another 3 weeks. Tonight it came through load and clear.

“PayPal was not able to resolve this case because the item in question was virtual or intangible.”

I think they fail to see the point… or maybe they don’t. Perhaps this is how they make so much money. The buyer protection we all think is going to stop this kind of thing from happening is almost worthless. I’d think twice before using the service again, but what other choices are out there right now. I’m not sure, but I’ll be spending some time soon to find out that’s for sure.